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Industry Insiders: Shannon Terpstra on Retail and Consumer Goods

Summit Search Group

Shannon Terpstra


Shannon Terpstra


As the world forges ahead in the wake of Covid-19, one industry remains as steadfast as always: retail and consumer goods. At Summit Search Group, we’re proud to offer hiring for professionals in the food and beverage sector as well as consumer packaged goods across the board. 

The retail industry moves quickly. E-commerce has taken flight in the last few years, and is particularly fast-moving in light of pandemic demands. Receptive, forward-thinking candidates with a proven record of stellar performance stand to find exceptional and stable opportunities here. 

Industry Challenges in Retail and Consumer Goods

Our in-house retail and consumer goods recruitment expert Shannon Terpstra knows the space inside and out. “Currently, our biggest challenge lies in finding candidates who are open and receptive to leaving their current role to join a new firm during Covid-19. Making that choice means the loss of tenure and stability, and in this climate, that’s a huge leap of faith.”

For the most part, companies that specialize in consumer packaged goods, retail, and food and beverage have remained “safe” from economic turbulence — in fact, many are busier than ever! 

“We do a great deal of work within the food and beverage space, and the beverage industry is operating at full speed right now. We’re seeing these teams work to meet unprecedented demand, and they’re taking on new challenges daily,” Shannon adds. “A lot of this space is doing exceptionally well — production is at maximum capacity. That said, both employers and candidates are struggling with the unknown elements of Covid-19 and its lasting impact. People tend not to like change, and this is the definition of a huge upset. It didn’t come with a manual. We have the opportunity to end up in a better place, but in the meantime, we all need to work harder and smarter.”

Canada’s Thriving Retail and Consumer Goods Sector

Retail, food and beverage, and consumer goods make up a critical portion of the Canadian GDP, contributing an average of $33 billion per year. The sector carries particularly high value in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta. 

“Aren’t we all consumers, after all?” Shannon notes. “Even with everything else that’s happening, people are still shopping — especially online. People still need to buy and continue to buy. Our clients are offering products and services that are necessities, not wants. Food delivery to homes is a particularly interesting and lively business right now, and we can expect to see more activity there.”

Retail Talent and the Future

“I think we’re still learning, and I think we’ll continue to do so.”

While commerce around the world leans in to remote technology, retail and consumer goods can be found ahead of the pack. Onboarding, sales, marketing, and purchasing, all driven by video communication, show no signs of slowing for leaders in retail. Increasing innovation in sales and branding for this new video space make for a stage that’s set for nimble, standout talent to shine. 

“The best talent for the future of this industry can already talk the talk and walk the walk — and they’re here to prove it,” says Shannon. “It’s a highly competitive market out there, and now is the time to decisively set yourself apart from the mediocre. Update your resume, and make it precise. Put in the work to truly package and display your success — and your potential.”

Tips for Finding Top Retail and Consumer Goods Talent

In an industry seeing such rapid growth, who are the outstanding candidates? And how can top talent stand out? For Shannon’s clients, it’s all about genuine performance.

“The best talent displays stability, consistency, and longevity. We don’t want to see people who’ve held five jobs in five years. To succeed in the retail industry, we want talent who make an impact. Longevity has especially high value. True top performers are educated and experienced: they can speak to specific KPIs, they’re looking to make their mark, and they know how to make it happen. We want the people who can talk to their successes and speak to genuine accomplishments. We want to see you validate what’s on your resume.”

For candidates seeking opportunities in the field, Shannon notes that there are exciting possibilities available, and positions offering superior stability and potential for growth — and that you’ll want to bring your A-game.

“Presentation, communication, and education are key. This industry is about genuine teamwork. Transparency is essential, for everyone. Tell the right story, and you’ll find the right fit.”

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Industry Insiders: Shannon Terpstra on Retail and Consumer Goods

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